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CarolineSD Jun 29
The truth is that, sometimes,
I can barely remember your face,
But I always recall happiness lightly skirting pain;
A smile like a masked animal of prey,
Every interaction,
Laying heavy like a thick shroud of strain,
Pulling the corners of your eyes into near total exhaustion,
Like one who guards the boundary lines of a village at war
And the shifts never change.

You were a child soldier
Innocence obliterated
Soul stolen at birth
A tiny form placed at the frontlines,
Armed with nothing,
Not even a choice.

And they made you fight without mercy
And you took more than your allotment of bruises
Standing there in front of your little sisters with your fists
Forever clenched
I remember you said you conjured your strongest self
When they came to **** the babies.

You tried so hard to be the savior
But you were a child soldier
Fighting giants with monstrous darkness in their hearts
And how they ripped through your tiny body and tore
All of your selves apart.

Yet, still you loved me,
From somewhere good that lay untouched
Beyond the broken mirrors of formative years
Fragmented in your blood
And how they would suddenly reflect a memory
And cut,

And how I tried to heal you with my
Child’s arms around your neck
And how it was never enough
And how I wore your blood,

How it lays now upon my skin,
And how it feels like pain

And how it feels like love.  

I will carry it like armor
And I don’t blame you for giving up.
For my mom, whose childhood was a war zone. I love and miss you :(
preston May 24

You are screaming at me and I'm in tears
your face peeled back
in deep contempt of my need
I am just a little boy and my head hurts and it
is a sin to hope that my aspirin could be cut

because I can't swallow the pills and they get
stuck in my throat, burning. My head is

and I'm falling down, a shaken baby
black around my eyes--
which one of you shook me?
Who did this to me, I'm just a little boy
peaceful in heart,
yet horror stricken; and the anger builds
Unexpressed words defining injustice, are

once again, deeper:    evil excels in its clothing
a child in shame, within the denial of its own wrongdoing.
Years of hard work, dismantle the shame..
remove condemnation's heavy, mantle;
but this rage.. this deeply embedded injustice-scream?
A lifetime has not enough years to undo what
the locusts have eaten

And I am only half of it...
a ***** in my armor, and I fall
A cheap shot, my hands now empty
the fire of my temple, now dust..

Lay me there, beside her--
she, that tore me down, she who I now
a beautiful boy, a broken son
in death, makes his peace with mom
his burial place, once again
back, in her arms

This is the home I choose
I forgive you, Momma, be my resting-place now,
my home--

my anger, my hatred.. contempt
purged, by cremation's holy fire
all glory and honor,  now yours

as the once-broken little boy
curls up safely, in your arms
Your beautiful son has returned,
back home:

     God.. and a mother's love,
                             rest his soul.

hell is for children
preston May 8

(note~ This is a rather lengthy story about trauma and brokenness..)

I have a patch of skin on the back of my left hand, indiscernible to the
human eye as being any different than any other part of my skin.
It is my heart of hearts.

Five days a week I am not with my little ones.. there is a place I go.
A broken one awaits me there; Unknowingly. On 'day one' of my
non daddy-time, I go where the longing of my heart leads me.
When I am not with them.

There is a vertical shaft-- hidden in the tumbleweeds at the base of the
mountain's foothills that leads down beneath the surface. There are
rusted rebar steps in the shape of hoops, embedded into the hardened dirt
and rock of the shaft that gives me access to what lies down below.
With each ten steps, the shaft becomes noticeably darker. After thirty
steps, there becomes a pungent smell in the air that begins to cover my
skin, and a dank mist that enters my lungs and begins to coat the
inside of my skin. As I continue to descend down-- all becomes covered--
everything.. but the 4 inch square patch on my left hand.

There is a foul 'burning' in the permeating mist that wants to place a
film over my eyes and cause them to water, but as I descend I grow a
new pair of eyes over the top of my old ones, and though it is nearly
pitch black now and the pungency completely fills the air;
I can see.
Faintly, but I can see.

Directly at the bottom of the shaft is a room barely lit by what little
light has made it down the shaft through the mold and musty mist.
I get a strong sense that this room is the antechamber. Dirt and rock
line the walls as if they had been there since the ancient days. There is
also a black mold and an unavoidable saturation of the wall. There are
two doors in the wall, but I sense that both lead to the same room, so I
take the door on the right and slowly enter into a windowless and
nearly pitch black room-- old and partially torn up asbestos-tar tiled
floor-- filthy ***** with strewn about rags and used up things. The
pungent mist would be completely overwhelming had I not already
been fully permeated in it and received the new set of eyes in order to
be protected from its permeation and also to be able to see through the
darkness and wet fine dust that floats throughout the air.

On the walls there is a saturation to such a degree that it almost moves,
and there is a permeation of mold throughout. Mold on the walls, floor,
ceiling-- everything permeated in the mold, and whatever it is that has
saturated everything. I have now entered so far into the room that all I
can see is shadows. It has become that dark. There is a sense of movement.
It is large-- behemoth even, methodically slow in it's self caught-up world.
It is perpetrator. Abuser-- And it only knows one thing--
destruction of anything of life for its own gain. It cannot see me
because I am permeated in the foulness of its own perpetual emission--
The walls.. they are *** soaked. The air is filled with an ever-evaporating
mist of pungency. The only life form attached to it is mold, a fungus
which covers every square inch of floor, wall and ceiling.
I am not afraid, because I know that what I want is in the room also--
and I know that the only thing perpetrator can see is what hasn't been
permeated by the filth-- and so as I move.. remembering to place my
right hand over the back side of my left--
covering the only part of me that is not his.

Protected by the fact that I have become permeated in and with the
outcome of his abusing ways, I am hidden from all that he is,
as long as I keep that part of me covered.
I begin to move slowly around the room knowing that I cannot be seen,
but needing also to make not an ounce of sound. I am looking-- searching.
In the corner is a small discarded pile of ***** rags, and there my
eyes focus as I slowly move towards it. Perpetrator has begun to
shuffle off towards another smaller room that I have just begun to
become aware of. I head towards the small pile of rags.
I can feel him-- someone else in the room. The one I came for.

I move towards the rags on the floor there in the corner of the room
and I can see him-- just a part of his hand sticking out from underneath
the pile of rags; he is face down. All my focus is on him now, as I kneel
down next to him and sit alongside him-- pulling the rags off of his
head, revealing the side of his face. He is face down with eyes closed,
barely breathing-- barely a pulse.. only kept alive by the perpetrator to
serve his purpose. I am with him now and his brokenness takes over
me. I cannot touch him with any part of the permeated filth.

I reach out with the unaffected four inches of skin on the back side of my
hand, and touch it to his face. There's a slight movement, but he
remains face down. He's just a little boy, but because of the horrors
he was subjected to, I knew not to try to move him--
the trauma of just the slightest movement would **** him.
And if I were to look directly into his eyes, the light I had brought into
his broken, dark world, would have burned the back of his retinas and
ended what little pulse and breathing he had remaining. This is where I
want to be, even if the only thing that I can do just let him feel the
warmth and cleanness of my skin through the back of my hand against
his face.

I feel him quietly breathing it in.
He never opens his eyes-
face down still-- pain.
It takes all the energy he has;
just to survive.. to breathe.

And outside of the warmth of my hand, I know
that he may never again have the chance
to see the light of day--
he is broken, abandoned.

This is where I want to be.. but to be near the broken one of my heart, I
have had to wear the 'full outcome' of perpetrator, and know full well
through what I have learned when young that I'm putting myself at risk--
of forever being banished to hell for what I have 'chosen to wear'.
I will stay with the broken one wherever that may be. This is where
my heart is most at home (the times I'm not with my little ones).
If heaven doesn't want to let me.. or the broken one in,
then I don't want to be there.
I will stay here with him, and if hell is his final resting place..
then it will be mine also--
perpetrator cannot see me here-- destructor will not see me there,
and I will sit with broken-one forever.

But for now I must return at the end of the five days-- climbing once
again back up the shaft and receiving the washing that happens once
daily life sees the four inch patch-- I am clean again in order to play
with and love my little ones.. holding them and protecting them from
the daylight-perpetrators as best as I can.. and as I love them and look into
them, I look into the broken one also. He is with me in my heart even
then. I will be with him again soon and also once again with my little ones.
    I am both.
They will grow up and become responsible loving adults with children
of their own. Broken one will always remain young and broken.
I will remain with him forever--come hell or high water.
He is me.. and every broken-one who has ever had to suffer alone.
It is with the broken ones that I will always want to be.

I live within the four square inches of my skin.
preston May 4

From the sodden, trundled forest floor the trees reached higher than he ever imagined possible-- pine needles from the conif, blending in  perfectly with those, broadleaf.. a strange, almost absurd-feeling; symmetry- in a world, nothing more than cluttered and confused-- in the eyes of a small-one, now subject..

And now as a grown man, I return to the disenchanted forest.. in order to bring enchantment. At the edge of the rustic, one-room cabin, I pause.. choosing to peer in, rather than enter-- my world-hardened hands, now pressed against cracked window glass--
opaque, but still..

I can see..

Inside the small room is as if a cosmos to itself-- there is a large ring of dark water, surrounding what seems to me to be a small island,
yet still, I can feel her..  sense her glow..
And magnificent within her solitude and silence.. she is strong, and firm-- her war-torn heart, gathered and secure.. all boundaries, seemingly intact-- but there is a teeming.. a never-ending movement of some form of life- in what I had once thought a ring of dark water, but can now see as if some kind of a fear-hewn moat.. and the movement within, none other than that of those trying to reach her. She is the prize, pulled away from the threat of harm by her intricately created world.

And there is this black movement above her.. what is that?  Moving in rhythmic a flock of starling maybe..
The wings that give them flight, are bat-like and sharp.. and only varying sections at a time of the flock's movement alight on to her.. as other ones take flight and rejoin the ever-moving, ever-shifting flock's shape.. and as each changing of the guard takes place, the inhabitants of the moat change color-- the light, now reflecting through the small window and bringing a matching glow to my arm..
and though I remain unaffected by the color of light,
I see the whole nature of the moat, conform to each color's change..

And it is then that I realize that the birds are the pieces of her fragmented heart, and the changing colors, her perceived reality.. based on whatever portions of her heart are inside of her at any given time. The moat provides the distance, yet one without its inhabitants even knowing they are in it--
changing color in order to fit in to her ever-changing reality.

I will never enter into the moat..
and the color change is hers, not mine.
I am more distant to her now
than even those, of the moat..
and my refusal to change color
will always be a point of contention--
but for her, I am the only one who sees,
I am the only one who knows
about the island, the starlings.. the moat.

She loves me so much, she hates me.

My prayer for her is that one day,
that whole flock of starlings will alight on to her..
and never, ever leave.
Maybe on that day also, her moat filled with
Mona Lisas and Madhatters, will finally, dry up..
and that her color perception will become the colors
that truly are,
rather than those, of her ever-changing, shift..
a disenchanted forest-- enchanted, once again.

as she quietly whispers into my ear..

"Until you've seen this trash can dream come true
you stand at the edge while people run you through,
and I thank the lord, there's people out there like you"
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